The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

I like Mark Manson because he has somewhat of a swearing issue, as apparent from the title of his book. He’s been blogging for years now and you’ve probably read some of his articles.

This wasn’t the best book in the world, and I felt that it was just a mashup of his blog posts. That said, if you’ve never read any of his work and looking for some general life-advice, it’s a good place to start. He pulls examples from Stoic philosophers, Holocaust survivors, and Buddhism — without explicitly saying so (hence, a lot of it might seem counterintuitive). The result is a very easily digestible book.

The big topics he covers in the book:

  1. Avoiding victim mentality
  2. How to choose your values and what’s important to you
  3. How to prioritize your thoughts effectively
  4. Improving our relationships
  5. Enough swearing to thoroughly annoy the crap out of you

You can buy the book, or you can just save yourself the money and read my favorite quotes and free kindle notes below.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.

Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress—the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.

If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.

Next time you’re at a swanky cocktail party and you want to impress somebody, try dropping Manson’s law of avoidance on them: The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.

We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.

Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.

Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.

Subtlety #2: To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give a fuck about something more important than adversity.

We can actually reorient our mindset in the following way: Action → Inspiration → Motivation (rather than motivation first!)


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